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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Fall 2009

URLs in this document have been updated. Links enclosed in {curly brackets} have been changed. If a replacement link was located, the new URL was added and the link is active; if a new site could not be identified, the broken link was removed.

Science and Technology Resources on the Internet

International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009): Selected Resources

Mandy Taha
Senior Librarian
Bibliotheca Alexandrina
Alexandria, Egypt

Joseph R. Kraus
Science & Engineering Librarian
University of Denver
Denver, Colorado

Copyright 2009, Mandy Taha and Joseph R. Kraus. Used with permission.


The International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009) is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture initiated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and UNESCO. Through local, national and international events, the organization wants to help the citizens of the world connect with the universe through the day and night time sky. In particular, many of the activities are focused on the younger generations. The scientists involved in the project wish to instill in people a personal sense of wonder about the universe.

In the spirit of the International Year of Astronomy, we wish to support this collaborative project by sharing a collective webliography of selected historical and educational materials, and especially on resources related to the IYA. The authors would also like to especially mention a complementary ISTL webliography [] (Kraus and Banholzer 2002) that provides a general overview of astronomy resources, including publications, observatories, data centers, and star charts.

This webliography covers the following topics:

General Astronomy & International Year of Astronomy 2009

History of Astronomy

Astronomy in Other Cultures

Women in Astronomy

Educational Resources

General Astronomy & International Year of Astronomy 2009

International Year of Astronomy 2009
The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture endorsed by the United Nations and the International Council of Science (ICSU). This site acts as an important resource for the participating countries for public, professionals, and media alike.

100 Hours of Astronomy
Running April 2-5, 2009, "100 Hours of Astronomy" was a cornerstone project during the International Year of Astronomy. It was a round-the-globe event that included public outreach activities, live science center and research observatory webcasts, and sidewalk astronomy events.

Dark Skies Awareness
One of 11 global cornerstone projects during the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) that aims for raising the level of public knowledge about adverse impacts of excess artificial lighting on local environments, and helping more people to appreciate the ongoing loss of a dark night sky for much of the world's population.

NASA International Year of Astronomy 2009
NASA activities provide opportunities for youth and adults to find information on local and worldwide activities surrounding the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009).

International Year of Astronomy 2009 from The Planetary Society
This web page presents the Planetary Society's International Year of Astronomy projects and events.

Portal to the Universe (PTTU)
PTTU provides a global, cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). It is a high-tech web site embracing Web 2.0 technologies that aims to become a one-stop-shop for online astronomy content, serving as an index, aggregator, and social networking.

History of Astronomy:


People from around the world study the skies to define and unify their cultures and to improve the quality of their life. In this section, we hope to present an overview of the world's ancient cultures and their relationship with the skies.

Ancient Astronomy
This web page hosted at Pomona College presents an introduction to ancient astronomical cosmology with an "Interactive Atlas of World Astronomy" and an index of links to other archeoastronomy sites.

History of Astronomy from Argelander-Institut für Astronomie
Compiled and maintained by Wolfgang R. Dick, this site offers astronomers' biographies, information on observatories, archives, museums, publications, meetings, etc. A German version is available as well. Last updated on 21 June 2001.

Historical Astronomy links
This web page from the American Astronomical Society provides links to online resources in the history of astronomy.

Multicultural Cosmology Education Resource Center at Pomona College
Sponsored by NASA, the Multicultural Cosmology Education Resource Center at Pomona College provides a useful overview of the world's ancient cultures and their relationship with the skies. It includes a world atlas of ancient astronomy, glossary and timeline, bibliography, ideography, and a set of links to other resources.

Traditions of the Sun: Ancient Astronomy
From NASA, Sun-Earth Connection Education Forum offers virtual visits to Mayan astronomical sites and Chaco Canyon placed in appropriate historical, cultural, and scientific contexts.

Neugebauer, O. 1945. The History of Ancient Astronomy: Problems and Methods. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 4(1): 1-38.
This was also published through the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 58(340): 17

Ancient Observatories & Sites:

Ancient Observatories - Timeless Knowledge from Stanford Solar Center
Presented by Stanford Solar Center, provides an introduction to ancient sites where the movements of celestial objects were tracked over the years (with a special focus on tracking the Sun).

Medieval Astronomy:

Caldwell, John A. R., and C. David Laney. First Visibility of the Lunar Crescent. The South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO)

Precious Records of Eclipses in Muslim Astronomy from MuslimHeritage
This article discussed the empirical data on lunar crescent visibility and tried to find satisfactory prediction criteria to explain the past record of credible, critical observations.

Kennedy, E. S., and Ahmad Muruwwa. 1958. "Bīrūnī on the Solar Equation." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 17(2): 112-121 [JSTOR subscription required].

Islamic Astronomers. The Commission on History of Science and Technology in Islamic Societies
From the Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers, Islamic Astronomers provides a list of articles on Muslim astronomers that are open source within the framework of the {Berlin Declaration}.

Renaissance Astronomy:

Nicolaus Copernicus
This web page provides information about the life and work of Copernicus, the Polish astronomer and mathematician.
This web site is maintained by the Tycho Brahe museum at Ven. This covers his life and scientific work.

Great Astronomers

Great Astronomers from StarTeach Astronomy Education
"Great Astronomers" gives brief descriptions of many famous astronomers.

History of Astronomy: Persons from Argelander-Institut für Astronomie
This web page provides short bibliographies and links for astronomers and other persons with connections to astronomy.

The Great Astronomers
The Great Astronomers presents brief biographies and general information about many famous astronomers.

Giants in Astronomy: Kepler

Kepler's Discovery

Johannes Kepler from MacTutor Kepler Biography
This web page on Johannes Kepler provides a bibliography on the famous German scientist and his great discoveries.

Johannes Kepler from The Galileo Project

Giants in Astronomy: Galileo

The Galileo Project
The Galileo Project is an extensive resource of information on the life and work of Galileo Galilei (1564-1642).

Galileo Galilei from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, this web page provides valuable information about Galileo Galilei.

Galileo Portal from Institute and Museum of the History of Science - Florence, Italy
Galileo Portal provides access to a variety of the Galilean resources published on the Istituto e Museo diStoria della Scienza web site. The portal has an archive of portraits of Galileo and Galilean historic iconography.

Galilei's Notes on Motion from Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG)
This manuscript is considered the essential source of information on the intellectual route followed by Galileo in achieving the insights he submitted in the Discorsi. It consists of more than 300 pages of numerous short texts in Latin and Italian, representing sketches of proofs, calculations, and tables of calculated numbers, diagrams, and documents pertaining to experiments performed by Galileo.

Astronomy in Other Cultures:

Egyptian Astronomy:

Chatley, Herbert. 1941. Egyptian Astronomy. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 26: 120-126. [JSTOR subscription required].

Hartner, Willy. 1965. The Earliest History of the Constellations in the Near East and the Motif of the Lion-Bull Combat. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 24(1/2): 1-16 [JSTOR subscription required].

Mesopotamian Astronomy:

Harris, John. Babylonian Planetary Theory and the Heliocentric Concept from SPIRA SOLARIS
A web page dated to 2004, it explains Babylonian planetary theory and the heliocentric concept.

Van Gent, Robert Harry. Bibliography of Mesopotamian Astronomy and Astrology from Institute for History and Foundations of Mathematics and the Physical Sciences
This web page offers a comprehensive bibliography of publications on Mesopotamian astronomy and astrology. References are grouped into related topics, and are listed in a chronological order.

Greek Astronomy:

Greek Astronomy: The Revival of an Ancient Science from The Public's Library and Digital Archive
The Greek Astronomy subsection in the mathematics section at the Library of Congress Vatican Exhibit presents digitized collections of byzantine astronomical collections, Ptolemy, and others.

Other Cultures:

Astronomy of Ancient India
This web page explains briefly about ancient Indian astronomy.

Chinese Astronomy from The Internet Encyclopedia of Science
From the Internet Encyclopedia of Science, this web page offers a brief introduction to Chinese astronomy.

Women in Astronomy:

Freitag, Ruth S. Women in Astronomy: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Library of Congress
This is a comprehensive bibliography on women in astronomy.

Fraknoi, Andrew. Women in Astronomy: An Introductory Resource Guide to Materials in English. The Astronomical Society of the Pacific
This guide introduces resources on the role of women in astronomy for those who want to explore the challenges and triumphs of women of the past and present.

Women in Astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley Astronomy Department
This web page provides information about many famous women inventors, scholars and astronomers throughout history. It also features an interactive quiz and a crossword puzzle.

She is an Astronomer
"She is an Astronomer" is an International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009) cornerstone project that provides information about female professional and amateur astronomers, students, and those interested in the gender equality issue in science. It also provides a forum for women in astronomy.

4000 Years of Women in Science from University of Alabama Astronomy
This site provides brief biographies and photographs of women scientists, mostly pre-20th century. Entries can be browsed by name, time period, or field of study.

Women of NASA
"The Women of NASA" was developed to encourage more young women to pursue careers in math, science, and technology. The main components of the project are the interactive events which include live chats, forums, and webcasts that offer participants the opportunity to dialogue with the featured mentors.

Educational Resources:

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries, Glossaries & Atlases.

The Internet Encyclopedia of Science
A part of Worlds of David Darling web site, this Encyclopedia provides a comprehensive source of information covering all aspects of contemporary science, mathematics, and technology, including historical aspects and biographies (past and present).

Imagine the Universe! Dictionary from NASA
From NASA, this dictionary provides definitions of astronomical terms.

Astronomical Glossary from NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database
This glossary is developed and maintained by the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database, covering most astronomical terms including particle physics and some statistics with short descriptions.

Glossary from NASA Polar, Wind, and Geotail Projects
From NASA, this Glossary provides definition of astronomical terms grouped alphabetically or thematically with cross linked keywords.

Schombert, James. Astronomy/Physics Glossary from the University of Oregon
From the University of Oregon compiled by Dr. James Schombert, the glossary entries handle astronomical or physical concepts that are alphabetically ordered. Each entry links to a new web page that provides descriptions with images (if available).

Bradford, Mark. Frequently Seen Space/Astronomy Acronyms
It provides a list of frequently used acronyms in astronomy and space-related information.

Astronomy Thesaurus from ANU: Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA)
A multilingual web interface to "The Astronomy Thesaurus", compiled by R.M. Shobbrook & R.R. Shobbrook (last updated May 1993).


Astronomical Conversion from
This web site converts the astronomical unit to miles, meters, light years, parsecs and more.


An Atlas of the Universe
This multilingual atlas is designed for the general public. It consists of nine main maps, each around ten times the scale of the previous one. It also includes a glossary of terms and related links.

Historical Celestial Atlases on the World Wide Web
By Dr. Robert Harry van Gent, this web page provides antique and links to celestial and historical atlases, and links to related astronomy issues.

For the General Public:

The Goddard Library Extranet
From NASA, Goddard librarians provide a collection of the best freely available resources for scientific and technical research as images, databases, and links.

Amazing Space from Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach
Introduced by the Space Telescope Science Institute's Office of Public Outreach, "Amazing Space" is a set of web-based activities designed for classroom use to help young people and general public learn about the universe and space.
Presented by Ricky Leon Murphy, this site is designed for amateur astronomers and students. It contains news, forums, and information on: exobiology, astrophotography, cosmology, the solar system, galaxies, and observations organized in categories. (A Persian language interface is also available.)

Astronomy Web Guide
This is a regularly updated comprehensive and useful educational tool for amateur astronomers or anyone interested in astronomical information. It provides links to quality internet resources with a brief description of the web site's features.

Astronomy Fact Files: Astronomy & Time from the National Maritime Museum
Astronomy Fact Files: Astronomy & Time is designed for age 16 and above.

Windows to the Universe
Maintained by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), this rich array of resources are for exploring the earth and space. A {text-version} is also available in Spanish.

WebStars: Astrophysics in Cyberspace from High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC)
Maintained by the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC) at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. It is intended to the general public to provide them with broad interest astronomical topics.

Ask-A-Scientist Archive: ASTRONOMY from NEWTON's Ask a Scientist
Launched in November 1991, Ask-A-Scientist Archive: ASTRONOMY is a collection of received questions with answers on astronomy collected through Newton's Ask-A-Scientist service for K-12 students and educators. It is regularly updated.

Cosmic Clearinghouse
This site serves as an educational clearing house for astronomy and space science outreach activities, resources, images, materials, guides, and events for general public and professional educators.

Bad Astronomy
Developed and maintained by Dr. Phil Plait, astronomer, lecturer, and an author. This site is devoted to discussing and countering myths and misconceptions in astronomy and related topics.

For Teachers, Students and Classrooms:

Eric Weisstein's World of Astronomy
The Astronomy section of "Scienceworld" is organized into seven subject areas: atmospheres, calendars, galactic astronomy, observational astronomy, remote sensing, solar system, and stars. The alphabetical index can be used to find topics. It also links to comprehensive sites on astronomy and the biographies of famous scientists.

College-Level Astronomy Courses from Eckerd College
By Reggie Hudson (Eckerd College), these pages contain material of value to astronomy students and instructors. This links to over 100 different college-level astronomy courses, mostly at the "beginners" level.

Heavens Above (sky and satellites visibility)
Developed and maintained by Chris Peat, Heavens-Above is a useful web site that gives information on when the International Space Station will fly over where you live.

NASA Education
CORE is the main distribution center for NASA's educational multimedia materials. Educators may purchase their materials for minimal fees. It provides educational materials on astronomy such as teachers' guides, hands-on resources, classroom activities, catalogs, posters, wall sheets, and more.

Astrometry and Celestial Mechanics
This web site is developed by the Scientia Astrophysical Organization. Astronomy is divided into three traditional fields: astrometry and celestial mechanics are considered classical astronomical branches; astrophysics is the modern branch.

Developing Astronomy Globally
This is a cornerstone project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA2009), which responds to the acknowledgement that astronomy needs to be developed professionally, publicly, and educationally. The implementation will be focused on training and development in each of these areas.
This site provides detailed information about solar eclipses from 1951 until 2100.

eCUIP: The Digital Library: Science: Cultural Astronomy from the University of Chicago Library
eCUIP provides activities to help students understand the astronomical phenomena used by many cultures in their daily lives. It contains a multimedia introduction to archaeoastronomy and ethnoastronomy.

Space Place Teacher's Corner from NASA
Space Place Teacher's Corner aims to provide teachers and students with educational materials in the classrooms.

CalSKY was founded in 1991 by Arnold Barmettler to offer amateur astronomers a new way to plan their observing sessions. It provides an online-calculator for astronomical observations and information on the globe. Users can make their own calendar with satellites, asteroids, comets, planets, the Sun, and the Moon.

The Galileo Teacher Training Program (GTTP)
This is a cornerstone project of International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009). It contains a wealth of resources ranging from educational materials to news and useful contacts within the astronomical community. It aims to show teachers how to use more astronomical principles in the classroom.

Project ASTRO ASP: Astronomers and Educators as Partners for Learning
This is an American program that improves the teaching of astronomy and physical science by linking professional and amateur astronomers with local educators.

Astronomy Notes
By Nick Strobel, this web site provides sample notes for some introductory astronomy courses with broad information about basic astronomy with diagrams.

Telescopes from the Ground Up
This page provides a quick review on the history of telescopes from Galileo to NASA's Great Observatories with teaching tips and related links.

Hands-On Universe, Europe, Bringing Frontline Interactive Astronomy to the Classroom (Eu-Hou)
This site is for renewing the teaching methods of science to the younger generation through astronomy and the use of new technologies.

Astronomy in Your Hands
Astronomy in Your Hands is created by Chris Hilder, an astronomy educator from Port Chalmers, New Zealand. This rich site is full of astronomical resources with hands-on astronomy activities for the classroom and at home.

Multimedia Interactive Resources:

Hubble Discoveries from HubbleSite
Presents amazing graphics of Hubble's search through the universe.

NASA: Multimedia
From NASA, this web page provides many interactive multimedia as images, videos, RSS feeds, and more.

PlanetScapes: Views of the Solar System
This is a multilingual site that provides a 3D multimedia astronomy adventure of planetary modeling. It also includes maps of the solar system and models of various moons and asteroids.

The Nine Planets Solar System Tour
NASA's Multimedia tour of the Solar System by Bill Arnett, this provides information about each planet and moon in our solar system with many pictures, and a discussion of the history of its discovery and exploration. It also includes a useful glossary.

Virtual Observatories:

SkyView from NASA
SkyView is an online virtual observatory that provides images of any part of the sky at wavelengths in all regimes from Radio to Gamma-Ray.

GLOBE at Night (how dark is your sky at night)
GLOBE at Night enables students, teachers, parents and community members to explore the concept of light pollution and to research the patterns of light pollution across the globe through a mass a data sets.

For Kids:

Universe Awareness for Young Children (UNAWE)
Universe Awareness, UNAWE is an international outreach activity for young disadvantaged children to learn about science and astronomy with educational resources. (Spanish language interface is also available)

esaKIDS from the European Space Agency
A multilingual web page, "ESA Kids" features space news, information, games, and animations for kids aged between 6 and 12.

NASA Kids' Club from NASA
NASA KIDS is an interactive site for young children to learn about NASA science and living and working in space with lots of information and things to do.

NASA Science for Kids
NASA Science for Kids provides a learning environment for kids on the Sun and the Earth, the solar system and the universe beyond through with games, activities, movies, and number of other resources.

From NASA, this web page helps to educate children about space science with many associated activities.

Space Telescope - Kids & Teachers from NASA/ESA Hubble
From NASA/ESA Hubble, this web page provides educational material for teachers and kids.

StarChild: A Learning Center for Young Astronomers from NASA
StarChild site is "A Learning Center for Young Astronomers" of the High Energy Astrophysics Science Archive Research Center (HEASARC).

Staying Current:

News Releases/Newsletters:

HubbleSite: NewsCenter
Hubble Space Telescope presents the complete collection of news releases.

Iya2009_newsletter from The European Southern Observatory (ESO)
A newsletter from ESO, the European Southern Observatory.

Night Sky Info
This web page provides weekly information about the night sky, including specific and details planetary locations and on the most important asteroids, comets, and meteor showers.

NOAO Newsletter
The NOAO newsletter is published quarterly. Issues since June 1992 are available online.

Universe Today
This provides daily or weekly newsletters by subscription. It also displays posts in astronomy and related issues.

Planet Diary Summer 2009 Review from Prentice Hall Bridge
"PlanetDiary" records the worldwide events and phenomena that affect the Earth and its inhabitants.

Que tal in the Current Skies (Qué tal)
This web page provides useful observing information about the visible planets, our moon and other moons, the sun, and other celestials. It also provides a monthly printable star maps for either the northern or southern hemisphere.

Sky and Telescope: News
Sky and Telescope magazine distributes a weekly news bulletin. This bulletin provides information on all areas of astronomy, from naked-eye phenomena to the latest discoveries.

The Universe in the Classroom from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
An electronic educational newsletter for teachers and other educators around the world to explore the wonders of the universe through astronomy.

Web 2.0 Technologies: Weblogs, Discussion Groups, Netcasts/Podcasts:

Astronomy Blog
This blog is about astronomy and astrophysical related issues. It covers diversified topics within astronomy.

Cosmic Diary
A project of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA 2009) that allows professional astronomers to blog about their lives, families, friends, and hobbies, as well as their work, and their latest research findings.

Observing the Sky (OtS)
A NASA-funded "skyblog" that covers astronomical events and observations, NASA discoveries and spacecraft, and other astronomical topics.

Bryson, Liz. CFHT Library Blog
From Kamuela on the Big Island of Hawaii by Liz Bryson.

DeMattos, Marilyn. Institute for Astronomy Library Blog
From University of Hawaii at Manoa on the island of Oahu by Marilyn DeMattosm.

Lakdawalla, Emily. The Planetary Society Blog
By Emily Lakdawalla, this blogs acts as a guide to interesting stuff going on in space science, space exploration, and space advocacy.

365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is a project that will publish one podcast per day, 5 to 10 minutes in duration, for all 365 days of 2009.

Google Groups: sci.astro
This group focuses on general astronomy questions and information.

Google Groups: sci.astro.research
For professional astronomers, this moderated group has current research topics in astronomy.

Global Events, Meetings & Conferences.

Space Calendar from NASA
This calendar is compiled and maintained by Ron Baalke. It covers space-related activities and anniversaries for the coming year. Space Calendar includes more than 1,000 links.

CADC's International Astronomy Meeting List
Astronomy meetings are compiled in this web page by Liz Bryson of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Corporation. Search menu can be used to view meetings by month or year or by keyword.

Meetings & Global Events for the International Year of Astronomy 2009
A list of astronomical global events and meetings during 2009.

Working Group for the History of Astronomy: Meetings
The Working Group for the History of Astronomy meets annually for a scientific colloquium. This web page presents historical and forthcoming meetings in astronomy.


Kraus, Joe and Banholzer, Pete. 2002. Astronomical resources on the Internet. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship [Online]. Available: [Accessed 12/4/2009].

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